"One of the four best Hollywood novels ever written."
—Elizabeth Frank, New York Times Book Review
"Epstein is a master storyteller at the height of his powers."
—Jonathan Kirsch, Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Mr. Epstein effortlessly captures the magic of a Hollywood childhood . . . San Remo Drive is a haunting and deeply affecting book."
—Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
Leslie Epstein's bestselling new novel is composed of five interrelated episodes, in each of which a germ of childhood experience is elaborated by the mature imagination of one of this country's most distinguished writers of fiction. Richard Jacobi, the narrator of these reflections, invites us to revisit the crucial experiences of his youth: driving to Malibu to meet the man determined to marry his mother; on vacation in the Mohave, while his father, the famed Hollywood figure Norman Jacobi and Lotte, his mother, must deal with the terrible consequences of Norman's testimony before the House Committee on Un-American Activities; exploring how a night in a bar and brothel in Tijuana becomes linked to the spiritual growth of his brother, Bartie, who is surely destined to be one of the most memorable and endearing characters in modern literature; viewing a precarious initiation into sexuality that will mark forever the way an artist sees the world and does his work.
This is, then, a novel written from memory, in the same sense that the Schubert sonatas that attract Lotte to her baby grand are played from memory—that is, by heart.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: San Remo Drive|
|Release Date: 06-22-2010|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Other Press|
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|Parent title||San Remo Drive|
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San Remo Drive
Chapter OneThe sun was where it always was, high overhead, though on the particular Sunday I have in mind it had to force its way through a thin layer of cloud that stretched above us like a sheet of wax paper. I assume it was Sunday: we weren't in school, Barton and I, and it wasn't warm enough yet for summer. In spite of the cool weather, I'd put down the top on the Buick we owned back in the Fifties. As we made our way in traffic along the Pacific Coast Highway, Sam, our spaniel, leaned out from the back seat, nose up, ears blown inside out. My brother hung onto his leash, lest at the sight of a skunk or a cat or-rising out of the haze-hung ocean-a silvery dolphin, he leap into the opposing stream of cars. Lotte, our mother, sat beside me, clutching a scarf over the permanent wave she'd set in her hair.
"It's going to be a nice day," she declared; as if in obeisance one corner of the milky overcast peeled away. At once the windows of the houses atop the right-hand hilltops began to shine, winking down on the sudden checkerboard of the sea.
"No, it is not," said Bartie.
I glanced back in the mirror: his face was buried in dog fur, the wind socks of the animal's ears twirling just above his own. He wasn't, I knew, referring to the climate.
"Why are you being so negative?" Lotte replied, though I doubted Bartie could hear her in the rush of air. "Reni is looking forward to the afternoon and so am I and you should be too. He is a wonderful cook. He is going to a lot of trouble to make a special treat. And his house is a little dream."
"A little dream on stilts," I muttered.
"Well, of course it's on stilts, Richard. It's a beach hou...